"Being at the main event is a very big deal. Being on the first card in Singapore is a very big deal," said Hyun Gyu Lim. Currently 2-0 in the UFC with both wins coming by brutal knockouts, the Korean Top Team standout has been hailed as the next big thing in Asia, although 'Ace' didn't expect he'd be thrust on this position this early in his UFC career.
Lim has been on the world stage for less than a year, and while he's on the cusp of breaking out as a true star in the region, he still credits his experiences from his last promotion for helping him get to this point.
"As far as making it into the UFC, it has always been a dream of mine and I'm glad to have achieved that dream," Lim told BloodyElbow.com, "First of all, I'm really thankful for the PXC. I have fought before (joining them), but I really made my name in the PXC. They gave me a title shot, and I won that title. Because of that recognition, I got boosted into the UFC, so thank you to the PXC."
As he credits the PXC for helping open doors toward the UFC, Lim also states that the next Korean standout will also be coming from that stable.
"For sure our team captain, the PXC featherweight champion 'The Beast' Jang Yong Kim is definitely the next Korean to make it big," he exclaims, "With his size and his power for featherweight, as well as his grappling and wrestling, there's no one in the featherweight division that can stack up to him"
Lim has earned himself a prominent slot on the Singapore card with big wins on his first two UFC bouts, but when Jake Ellenberger went down to injury, Lim was asked to step up and headline the event. A main card bout against fellow prospect Kiichi Kunimoto suddenly turned to a top billing against the last Strikeforce champion in Tarec Saffiedine. It's a challenge he relishes, but it's also a change that forced him to make some adjustments during preparations.
"Obviously Kiichi Kunimoto is a good fighter and I was getting ready for that in the first place," Lim said as he spoke about the change in opponents, "The main thing I switched to is that Kunimoto was right handed, while Tarec tends to switch stances. So I brought in more south paws to finish out the training camp."
"Saffiedine is a striker as well, but I believe I have the edge in power and obviously, the edge in reach," Lim claims.
Stepping up from blasting guys on the prelims to headlining against a former champion, Lim has essentially nothing to lose on this match up. He's not content to be in here just for the ride though, as this potentially career defining win is "a very big deal". Both his UFC victims eventually fell victim to his vaunted power, and Lim wants a repeat.
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